Telecommedy is the memoir / steamy tell-all / advice column / cathartic epression written by Scott Wilkinson. Stop back here often or follow us on social media for the latest on the book. And by "us", we mean "me". And be "we", I mean "I". This isn't a big operation. Yet.
In the late 1990s a lot of people made a lot of money doing a lot of really smart and really stupid things in the telecommunications industry. This has resulted in a plethora of earnest and sincere management books written by both winners and losers about those heady times when money was easy and everyone had a startup company with a colorful logo.
This is not one of those books.
Telecommedy started as a series of lectures to graduate students on what to expect after leaving the comforting arms of academia and entering the less comforting jaws of working life. Presented as humorous stories and anecdotes from a long and varied career in telecommuncations and focused on the loony 1990s era, these lectures were well received if not entirely within the parameters of what was intended by the university when the series was established. Interspersed between the stories are “technology interludes” that purport to educate the reader on some of the technology that is referenced throughout but are usually an excuse for the author to make snarky comments and bad puns.
Telecommedy is a unique book with appeal to a wide audience. Pick it up, flip through it, highlight your favorite passages, and leave it in a bus terminal so that others can enjoy it as well.
The main reason for writing this book is to get rich quick. What child growing up in small town America hasn’t looked with envy at the high-paid authors riding around in their expensive cars with young, nubile members of the opposite (or perhaps same) sex, dispensing cash at the local soda shop, and flaunting their solid gold author bling over the less literary.
In the off chance that fortune does not come quickly, a secondary goal is fame. I often dream about the famous authors who are mobbed by the paparazzi and hounded for autographs by young, nubile members of the opposite (or perhaps same) sex. They show up on the cover of supermarket check-out line magazines, sit courtside at all major sporting events, and sign a few napkins rather than paying for meals at all of the best restaurants in town.
In the extremely unlikely event that both fame and fortune are fleeting, the lesser of the three reasons for writing this book is to capture the excitement of a time that has passed and an amazing (for various reasons) group of people that came together at a unique time in the history of the world to make something truly special. And that truly special thing that we were attempting to make was, of course, money. Gobs of it. That most of us failed and ended up attempting to write books is merely a side note.
The material in this book comes from two primary sources. The first source is a lecture that I give semi-regularly to graduate students at Georgia Tech who are about to enter the world of gainful employment. When asked to give my first lecture in the series, I did not realize that I was supposed to be speaking about technology and instead pulled together a series of humorous stories about my career scattered with platitudes about lessons learned. The class seemed to like it and they keep asking me back. The second source is a blog that I started, worked on furiously, and ultimately abandoned during the telecomm boom that was entitled “Telecommedy” (hence the book title). The blog was my attempt at turning serious telecomm topics into more entertaining articles, with varying success and little fanfare. Those blog posts were the starting point for the little technology interludes in-between chapters that try to set the stage and perhaps educate just a little, tiny, bit about what all this telecomm hoopla is about.